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Sun, Jul 06, 2014

41 - Judging Others [b]

Matthew 7:1 by Robert Dean
Do you usually think the best about other people? Or are you quick to point out how stupid someone is? Listen to this lesson to learn that in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus emphasizes that our relationship with God is what matters most. Then being kind, generous, and gracious to others will follow. Understand how our life is connected to unseen spiritual warfare and that what we do matters. As an added bonus, enjoy a review of the faith of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and see how pastors during the early days of this country helped us gain our freedom.
Series:Matthew (2013)
Duration:1 hr 2 mins 30 secs

Judging Others
Matthew 7:1
Matthew Lesson #041
July 6, 2014
www.deanbibleministries.org

We celebrate the fourth of July because it was on that day that that the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence. Those who attended for the signing in the Declaration of Independence were almost to a man regenerate, justified, born-again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. There were doubts with a couple of them, though a case can be made even for Benjamin Franklin who is notably described as a deist. But that is based on writings of his that come from his early to mid twenties. He was a friend of George Whitfield who was the Billy Graham, as it were, of his generation. George Whitfield was British, he made several trips to the colonies and conducted evangelistic campaigns starting in the period that preceded the revolutionary period known as the Great Awakening; the period of intense revival that seemed to sweep through the colonies, starting in the 1740s through the preaching of men such as Jonathan Edwards in Massachusetts and others, notably the Tennent family.

William Tennent Sr. was a Scots-Irish Presbyterian who immigrated to the Colonies in the early 1700s. He has several sons and he desired to train them in the gospel ministry. At this time in our history most of what we call today "evangelicals" was Presbyterian or Congregational. As a result of the Great Awakening a split occurred in the denominations. They had become somewhat calcified in their beliefs and many believed that as long as you affirmed the doctrinal statement or the statement of the Presbyterian or the Congregational church you were sort of automatically saved just because you were born in the church.

During the period of the Great Awakening it was realized by a large group of individuals, pastors and clergy that what was needed was a proclamation of the gospel. Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins but it was necessary for each individual to make a decision to put their faith alone in Christ alone for salvation, and at the instant of that faith in Christ they would be justified. This group became known as the "New Siders" or "New Lights", depending on whether you were Congregational or Presbyterian.

William Tennent established a school to train his sons as pastors. Other men came and were trained there, and it was originally known as the Log College. It was located north of Philadelphia. It was through the influence of his sons and those he trained that the gospel went out and brought about the genuine biblical revival in the Colonies that laid a spiritual foundation for the period of the American war for independence.

It is important to understand that connection. First there was that spiritual renewal that took place in the Colonies and then that was followed by this shift that occurred in terms of the thinking of the nation. And a lot of what occurred at that time in terms of the war for independence was a result of their understanding of the Word of God, their understanding of the principles that were taught in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, rightly described as a Judeo-Christian view. Whether they were actual believers in Jesus Christ or not is beside the point in one sense because they were all, to a man, influenced by the thinking that came out of that Judeo-Christian matrix of British Protestantism.

It was the Word of God that influenced the vast majority of the signers of the Declaration.

I want to focus on some of those who are not well known because they provided the backbone for the revolution. In fact, if you look at the statistics, when the war for independence began probably less than ten percent of the Colonists were in favor of independence. In most conflicts there are only a few that understand the issues. There are a few that understand the issues and have a positive and correct understanding and solution, and then there is another small percentage that understand the issues but have the wrong solution. Everybody else is swayed by emotion and by many other issues, and that is pretty much the way it was during the time of the Colonies. As the war progressed people became more aware of these issues.

One of the myths that come along is that the founders of this nation were secularists. I just want to go through briefly some of these men and what they believed, and their background. John Witherspoon was a Presbyterian pastor. He came from Scotland and he later became a signer of the Declaration, but he was also the president of the College of New Jersey. I mentioned earlier the impact of Willem Tennent Snr's Log College. It evolved into the College of New Jersey and became known as Princeton. Witherspoon was responsible for printing two different editions of American Bibles, including the 1791 edition of the American Family Bible. He was responsible as a teacher and professor at Princeton for training James Madison who became the fourth US president, who originally went to Princeton to study theology and where he learned biblical principles of law and government, and then formed his legal convictions. Witherspoon was also responsible for training one other vice president, three Supreme Court judges, ten cabinet members, twelve governors, sixty Congressmen, including twenty-one senators and thirty-nine representatives. These men were grounded in biblical theology and the Word of God.

Charles Thompson was Secretary of the Continental Congress. He was responsible for translating and printing Thompson's Bible, a translation named for him, which was the first Septuagint to English translation, translating the Old Testament Greek translation into English. And it is still to this day one of the very best translations in the English language. After 19 years of working in it, it was published in four volumes in 1808. He also translated the New Testament from Greek into English. These men loved the Word of God.

Charles Carroll was another signer of the Declaration. He wrote a letter to a friend, Charles Horton:

"On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely for salvation, and on His merits; not on the works I have done in obedience to His precepts."

These men had a clear understanding of the gospel of grace. He was so committed to Christianity that he personally built and financed a Christian house of worship. He was a strong, outspoken Christian, and his statue is in the east hall of the Capitol building in Washington DC. In a letter to James McInry he wrote:

"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time. They therefore who are decrying the Christian religion whose morality is so sublime and pure are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free government."

Whether people are actually regenerate or not, if you are not living according to the absolute standards of God's in terms of morality, then anything goes. And this leads to the internal destruction of any nation.

Witherspoon, mentioned earlier, said in a sermon he preached to the Continental Congress in May 7, 1776, entitled 'An observance of the day of fasting and prayer':

"True religion is nothing else than an inward temper and outward conduct suited to your state and circumstance and providence at any time. God grant that in America true religion and civil liberty may be inseparable."

They believed in the fact that government should not dictate religious beliefs to the citizenry, but they did not believe in this modern concept of a separation of church and state. They believed that people's Christian convictions should inform and direct their legislation and policies. He said:

"God grant that in America true religion and civil liberty may be inseparable, and the unjust attempts to destroy the one may in the issue tend to the support and establishment of both."

Another great American who was a signer of the Declaration was Benjamin Rush (1745-1813). He was the father of American medicine. The black mark against his name was that he was an advocate of bloodletting for the treatment of various diseases. He was also responsible for numerous medical discoveries and he was a founder of the first American Abolition Society, and he was active in opposing slavery for fifty years. If it were not for white Christians there would still be slavery. There would be chattel slavery in this country; there would still be chattel slavery in England. The blacks enslaved blacks in Africa. They sold them to Arab slave traders who then sold them to those in western civilization. And it was white Christians—William Wilberforce, Granville Sharp and other notables in leadership in Britain from the late 1700s and early 1800s who were responsible for the abolition of the slave trade. It wasn't liberals; it wasn't secularists; it wasn't atheists. It was evangelical Christians who were responsible—and males, because at that time women were not influential in government. Today the evil people are white evangelical males, and yet it was due to white evangelical males that we have the freedoms that we have, that we have abolished slavery, and it was due to white evangelical Christian males that women were given the vote; all of this by those who are now considered the enemy of culture, the enemy of civilization, the enemy of freedom. But that freedom today has been redefined in terms of socialist, anti-liberty type of 'freedom'.

Benjamin Rush founded the first Bible society in 1808, and he was considered by the founders to be the third most significant of the founders. He massed produced the first stereotyped Bible with the help of president Madison and the US Congress. In his biography he wrote:

"My only hope of salvation is in the infinite transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the cross. Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins. I rely exclusively upon it. Come Lord Jesus; come quickly". 

Can you find a more clear testimony? I have interviewed dozens and dozens, if not hundreds of people, for church membership in the various churches that I have pastured and I have found very few who have been able to give that clear an understanding of the testimony of their salvation. He also wrote:

"The only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican form of government is the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible."  

He considered that so significant that he founded five colleges and universities, including the first college for women. So these men practiced what they believed in terms of their evangelical Christianity.

The Richard Stockton (1730-1781) and did not live to see the conclusion of the war for independence. He had been chosen by New Jersey to replace one of their delegates who would not vote for independence. He was captured and tortured by the British. In his last will and testament he wrote:

"I think it proper here not only to subscribe to the entire belief of the great and leading doctrines of the Christian religion, such as the being of God, the universal defection and depravity of human nature, the divinity and person and the completeness of the redemption purchased by the blessed Savior, of the divine faith accompanied with an habitual virtuous life, but also to exhort and to charge my children that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom."     

These are men who are known because they signed the Declaration of Independence, because they were leaders, political civil leaders in their society. But those who were most instrumental during the period of the war for independence were the clergy.

Some men were not well known. One of these was Daniel McCalla. He was noted as being a man who was fond of study. He had a gifted intellect. He was in the second generation or so coming out of the Great Awakening. He entered Princeton when he was fourteen years of age and was licensed to the gospel ministry by the Congregational church when he was seventeen years of age. He was part of New Light Congregationalism and was a very able and articulate spokesman for the gospel and for the theological principles of New Light Congregationalism. He was close friends and colleagues with the men who were associated with George Whitfield, and so he probably was as well. To his peers he was noted as a respected Bible scholar and theologian, but he wasn't on that A list; he was a B lister. He was influential and when the war for independence broke out he was among the first voices from the pulpit challenging and encouraging the men in his church to join the Continental Army, and he proclaimed the duty of their resistance to tyranny and called upon the men in his congregation to join the war.

It wasn't long before he realized he couldn't just sit by and watch and he offered his service to the Continental Congress and was appointed as a chaplain to the troops under General Thompson as he took an army north to Canada in the spring of 1776 before the Declaration was signed. The Continental Army had attacked Quebec unsuccessfully and this was a second army that was headed north in order to defeat the British Army in Canada. He was part of that endeavor. He fought at the Battle of Three Rivers and in that battle the American soldiers sought to slip around the British at night by going around them on the river. Unfortunately it took them longer than Thompson expected and before they landed downstream from the British they were discovered. Their element of surprise was completely lost and the British were able to quickly organize and attack them. The Americans sought refuge in a swamp. There they were outflanked by the British and were separated into different groups. General Anthony Wayne led one group in a retreat and the British who were not interested in taking too many prisoners let them escape. 

Those who remained under General Thompson included his chaplain Daniel McCalla who fought at his side, and together they led the charge against the British line. Though they were overwhelmed by numbers, McCalla, along with Thompson, was captured by the British, and McCalla was sent to one of those horrible British prison ships, along with 235 others. According the Headly's article, he says:

With their usual hatred of rebel partisans the British hated the pastors in the Colonies. They viewed it as the Presbyterian war because it was the Presbyterian ministers who were so influential from their pulpits. They referred to them as the rebel parsons or the black robe brigade. Because of that they treated him most harshly. They threw him into a prison ship where they were treated worse than disgraced savages. They were crowded into the hold with the sick and the dying and were barely given enough food. The food they were given wasn't fit for swine. They were companions of vermin and there he was kept as a prisoner for six or seven months. Finally he was released on his own parole he made his way home to his church and to his pulpit, but he continued to preach against the tyranny of the British and to encourage men to fight in the Continental Army. So the British issued a warrant for his arrest.

He fled from Pennsylvania to Virginia where he survived the war. After the war he went to South Carolina where he had a number of cousins and he served as the pastor of Christ's Church near Charleston for the remainder of his life. He died in 1800. Throughout that time he was a diligent student of the Word of God and was a faithful pastor to his congregation. The great grief and sorrow in his life was that his only child, a daughter, died at the age of 26. She must have been a child bride but she died as the wife of John Witherspoon who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

An interesting backstory on Daniel McCalla is that his father, Daniel McCalla Sr. and his brother William, came to America from Ireland. They were Scots-Irish Presbyterians. Daniel went to the area of Maryland, Pennsylvania and William went to the Carolinas. The Daniel of whom we learn is was the son of the senior Daniel McCalla. The line that descended from his uncle William went down to my great grandmother, Annie McCalla—which would make me a distant cousin to Daniel McCalla.                        

Now let's turn to Matthew chapter seven. What I wish to do is give an introduction to the chapter, but a transitional message related to what we have learned at the end of chapter six and as preparation for what we sill study in chapter seven.

As we shave seen, throughout the Sermon on the Mount Jesus contrasts the righteousness taught by Scripture—an experiential righteousness, not the imputed righteousness needed for justification, although that of course is certainly present in the background—that should characterize the life of the believer. Of course, this was under the age of the Law. God had promised to Israel that if they walked according to the Law then He would bless them. This is experiential righteousness. If they did not, then God would bring discipline upon them even to the point of removing them from the land. So what Jesus is articulating in Matthew 5-8 is the need for Israel to have experiential righteousness so that God would bless them in terms of coming into the kingdom. We see this contrast in the message between the righteousness taught by Scripture versus the self-righteous judgmental attitude that was present in the actions and the attitudes of the Pharisees at that time.

This is not to deny the fact that experiential righteousness and not judging others was clearly understood by the rabbis as part of the spiritual life. Many times in rabbinical writings at this time people were warned against judging others. In fact, it was written by various rabbis: "he who judges his neighbor favorably will be judged favorably by God". They laid down the principle that there were six great works which brought man credit in this world and profit in the world to come: study, visiting the sick, hospitality, devotion in prayer, the education of children in the Law, and thinking the best of other people. They understood that kindness toward others was part of their righteousness. A famous rabbi of the period before Christ stated that we were not to judge a man "until you yourselves have come into his circumstances or situation".

But just like many Christians today will articulate the principle that we aren't supposed to judge one another they would turn right around and have some sort of arrogant, haughty view towards someone else and condemn them, judge them ridicule them for whatever failures they perceive that they have. So we also as Christians often succumb to the same self-righteous legalism that dominated the Pharisees of Jesus' day. In the context of this Sermon on the Mount we need to recognize that as Jesus has taught He has emphasized this contrast between the thinking of the Pharisees and the divine viewpoint interpretation of the Law.

As we think back to what we saw in 5:19 Jesus talked about six specific commands of the Torah and contrasted the divine viewpoint interpretation with the Pharisees' interpretation. That took us from 5:19 down to the end of the chapter. Starting in chapter six the focus was on the areas of worship. So self-righteousness not only impacted their interpretation of specific commands but it impacted how they understood worship. The Pharisees were motivated by self-righteousness in the sense that they wanted to be seen by others in their external observance of worship in contrast to what Jesus taught in terms of divine viewpoint, that the emphasis is on the internal, private obedience to God that was done only to be seen by God and not to be seen by men. The point that Jesus makes in these areas is that what matters in our relationship to God is that we do not perform spiritual activities such as giving, prayer or fasting to impress others, but only to maintain and improve our relationship with God. That is covered in Matthew 6:1-18.

At that point Jesus shifted the topic again and began to address the believers correct attitude toward money and possessions, and then in Matthew 7:1-6 it will be the believer's correct attitude towards people and individuals. Regarding money and possessions Jesus made two points. First, that generosity or graciousness out of grace orientation should characterize our attitude towards money and possessions. Second, the acquisition of wealth and possessions is not in and of itself wrong, but it is not our mission or our priority. There is nothing wrong with having wealth or the things that wealth can purchase, but so often that becomes a distraction to our spiritual life. What is interesting is that often those who have much spend so much of their time being distracted by how to keep it, and those whop don't have it are distracted by wanting to acquire it. So in terms of the test of prosperity it works both ways. It is not just a test for those who have but it is also a test for those who have not.

But what undergirds that section, and the section to come, is the mentality of grace. What does grace mean? Grace means undeserved kindness unmerited favor. That means that when it comes to money we need to realize that all that we have in terms of our finances, our possessions, our jobs that produce that income, comes from God. We need to recognize that He is the one who has blessed us with those jobs, blessed us with that income, and blessed us with those possessions so that we might use them for His honor and glory. So grace orientation is very much the background as our doctrinal concept for understanding what we have just studied in Matthew 6:19-34. It also becomes the background of understanding Matthew 7:1-6.

In the previous case we are looking at grace towards our possessions and dealing with them in such a way that we can use our finances and possessions graciously and generously towards others. But starting in chapter seven we are to treat others with a generosity of spirit and graciousness instead of ridiculing them and having some sort of judgmental hostility toward them.

When it comes to grace orientation we understand first and foremost that grace means undeserved kindness and unmerited favor. They don't deserve our kindness; they don't deserve us saying good things about them when actually they are idiots who have succumbed to all kinds of stupid temptations. What kind of fool do they think we are that we are going to be nice to them? That is our sin nature talking. But actually we are not to treat them on the basis of what they deserve but on the basis of what they don't deserve—in the same way that God treats us in grace and kindness, and every time we fail we are treated out of God's grace and kindness. God's grace is His policy toward us at all times and when we come to understand that, that is to characterize our attitude toward others. So we deal with others out of a generosity of spirit that is grounded in our understanding of God's grace. In looking at this we understand the basic attitude that we should have.

Think about your attitude towards money and possessions, your attitude towards people in terms of our spiritual combat, as part of spiritual warfare. When we enter into certain situations of testing and temptation—how we handle money and people—this is part of how Satan attacks us. These are the assaults that we come under in living in Satan's world system. 

In Job chapter one Job informs us of the ultimate spiritual realities in the universe. It is interesting to note that Job is likely the very first book written in the Bible. Genesis came later. I think Job and the episode related to Job occurs roughly at the time of Abraham or Isaac. The revelation of the book of Job was given to help people understand how to handle the suffering, the hardship, the difficulties in life, and to reveal the fact that there is a dimension in life that goes beyond the empirical and that which we can simply learn through the rational; that is, that we are involved in a spiritual conflict.

Job opens by telling us about the prosperity that God had given him. He has blessed him richly. In verse 6 of Job chapter one the curtain goes back and we see what happens in the spiritual realm: NASB "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them." Notice that all of the angels, both the fallen and the elect angels, are all described as "sons of God". That is because they were directly created by God. They are still gathering in the presence of God even though Lucifer has already fallen, a third of the angels have followed him in his rebellion. They still have access to heaven.

The Lord has a little conversation with Satan. And notice it is the Lord, not Satan, who initiates this. The Lord is the one who has a purpose in the role of testing in our lives.

Job 1:7 NASB "The LORD said to Satan, 'From where do you come?' Then Satan answered the LORD and said, 'From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it'." Cf. 1 Peter 5:8 NASB "… Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." He is cruising the earth looking for those to attack.

Job 1:8 NASB "The LORD said to Satan, 'Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil'."    

For many of us we are thinking, Lord, thanks a lot for pointing me out to Satan; I really appreciate that. I thought you loved me. Well this helps us understand an aspect of love. Love seeks our growth and out maturity, not our comfort and not for everything to be easy for us.  

Several times in the next couple of chapters we get God's evaluation of Job. None of this has to do with Job's failures or flaws. God says, "Have you considered him?" He is "blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil". You can't find a better set of words in the Old Testament to describe the spiritual maturity of the man. Job is solid. He has grown to spiritual maturity and God points this out to Satan.   

Job 1:9 NASB "Then Satan answered the LORD, 'Does Job fear God for nothing?'" The point he is making is: of course Job fears you, look at what you have given him!

Job 1:11 NASB "But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face."

That is the test. When we lose that which we have. We are talking in terms of those possessions, the money, the things that Jesus is talking about in the Sermon on the Mount. When we lose them, do we lose our love for God? Do we lose our devotion to God? Are we going to trust Him? As Job will say later in the book, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him". Is our faith strong enough in that direction?     

Job 1:12 NASB "Then the LORD said to Satan, 'Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.' So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD."

On that day he loses his children and all of his possessions. He doesn't lose his wife who wants him to become an embittered old man and to give it up. When the message is delivered that he has lost his possessions, that his house has been destroyed and his family are all dead, Job's response was:                

Job 1:21 NASB "He said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD'."

That is our mentality, recognizing that God is the one who owns and actually possesses all that we have. We have to develop that divine viewpoint mentality of grace orientation towards two areas that Jesus is talking about. The first is in this area of money and possessions, and the second is going to be in the area of how we treat people.

So we begin this next section, which begins with Matthew 7:1.

In the sin nature there are two areas. The area of strength is the area where we aren't ever tempted in certain areas. It may be some situation in life where another person commits some sort of sin and they fail. But it is not a sin we would succumb to, so we look down on them from our high point of arrogance and we think what a fool they are to succumb to this, and we act out of arrogance and think that we are better than they.

Everybody here has an area of strength and everybody has an area of weakness. And it is often the case that from your area of strength you think: how can they succumb to that? But you have your own area, your own flaw, your own area of weakness where you easily succumb, and this is not a problem for them. We all have serious flaws because of our sin nature. Only God has the right to judge us. None of us has the right to judge anyone else because there is always this problem in our own life.

We have to understand the dynamics of arrogance as we go into this next section. Arrogance is at the core of our sin nature. Arrogance is what motivates sin, and it motivates us in the area of human good. We are oriented by virtue of our fallen nature towards self-absorption. When we are self-absorbed it leads to self-indulgence. We are so focused on what I want that we indulge that. This is our default position, and we are all experts at this. And we have managed to figure out ways to camouflage it and we disguise it from ourselves and disguise it from others. That is called self-justification. We have good, solid reasons for our self-indulgence and self-absorption. You are just too arrogant to understand it! Self-justification develops self-deception; we can't see the truth in ourselves for what it is. This is what Jesus talks about in this opening section when He says: "Don't worry about the speck in your brother's eye until you have taken the log out of your own eye." We have a major problem in each of our own lives but because of self-justification and self-deception we can't see it, and so all we do is focus on somebody else. Ultimately when we are following our path of arrogance it leads to self-deification.

What we saw from Job is that we are in a spiritual warfare. This is what the Scriptures talk about, especially in Ephesians chapter six. But we also see a reference to the armor of God. We have to think in terms of the battle. We are constantly hit by ambushes. One of the greatest tools that Satan uses against us is that of surprise, one of the ten basic principles of warfare. Satan defeats us again and again through surprise. Rarely do we face the kind of frontal assault that Daniel Mc Calla and General Thompson faced at the Battle of the Three Rivers. Frequently what hits us are the spiritual IEDs that Satan builds into the world system that hit us all around, in combination with the various ambushes. We often have problems, just as in physical warfare, with infiltration of the enemy into our own lives, which is our own sin nature. When we take enemy fire we have to learn how to respond to that enemy fire, not in terms of holding on and grasping after our possessions and our money, not in terms of judging, ridiculing and condemning other people, but in terms of focusing upon the Lord as the one who protects and provides for us.

There are verses that we should take to heart in terms of this concept of warfare that we see often in the Psalms, a reference to the Lord as our protector, our shield, our defender. These are military terms. What protects us from enemy fire. It is what I have described in the past as the soul fortress. It is what is provided by God. 

Psalm 3:3 NASB "But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head."

When we get hit by the spiritual ambush we can either try to solve it through our own self-absorbed dependence upon our own resources, or we depend upon the resources that God has given us.

Psalm 31:2 NASB "Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; Be to me a rock of strength, A stronghold [fortress] to save me."

Psalm 31:3 NASB "For You are my rock and my fortress; For Your name's [character] sake You will lead me and guide me."

How can we come to the Lord in prayer? Because we recognize that He is our protector, our rock, our fortress. We recognize that God and God alone is the one who provides for us and protects us and supplies our every need.

Psalm 18:2 NASB "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."

How many different adjectives are used there to describe that God is the one who protects us. That is where we dive for cover when we start taking enemy fire.

Psalm 62:2 NASB "He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken."

The key to grace orientation is dependence upon God, which is expressed in terms of humility. 1 Peter 5:5 NASB "You younger men, likewise, be subject to {your} elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." It is authority orientation. That is where Satan failed in eternity past. But we need to submit to God's authority. Humility is the opposite of arrogance. When we are operating on arrogance when we take enemy fire we are going to be defeated. [6] Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, [7] casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." How do you humble yourself? By casting (it is a participle of means) all of our cares on Him. We throw it on His back. That is how we humble ourselves—by being obedient, by giving it over to the Lord.

We see the same thing repeated in James 4:6-10.

James 4:6 NASB "But He gives a greater grace. Therefore {it} says, 'GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE'." God sustains us in the midst of the battle. [7] "Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." Notice it is not taking the offence against Satan. This is a defensive term. WE dive behind the stronghold of the Lord and let Him sustain us by casting our care upon Him. 

We cleanse ourselves of sin. James 4:8 NASB "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded."

There is often an attitude of remorse over the sin in our life. This often accompanies confession. It is not the key to confession. James 4:9 NASB "Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom." When we confess our sin the result is that joy is restored to our soul.

James 4:10 NASB "Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you." This is the same principle as stated in 1 Peter chapter five.

Where does James go? James 4:11 NASB "Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge {of it.}"

This is the backdrop for understanding the same principle that Jesus starts with in Matthew chapter seven. If we are going to be successful in not failing the people test, not condemning others, then it has to be undergirded by this understanding of grace orientation, and that in the midst of testing God and God alone is the source of our strength, and He is the one who sustains us.